Dismiss Notice

Site Performance Updates: We're aware of the nightly site outage, and working on resolving the issue.

Follow our progress ...

Damnation | Russian River Brewing Company

1,124 Reviews
no score
Send samples
For Trade:

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.75%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by beerguy101 on 09-19-2003

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,124 | Ratings: 3,727
Photo of Salt-n-Beer
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

One of the best beers I've had. On tap at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia. Hazy blonde, floral aromas and a bitter bubblegum-like aftertaste. Hard to put it in words but this is a beer that you simply gotta try even if you're not a fan of the style.

 245 characters

Photo of lic217
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: golden color, quick fading white head
Aroma: banana, peppery esters
Taste: sweet, then estery, clove like flavor, finishes dry, with a touch of alcohol, little citrus
Feel: high level of carbonation, medium body
Overall: a really nice golden ale, as another poster pointed out, it's not quite up there with delirium tremens

 329 characters

Photo of SABERG
4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle dated 02072015 into a chalice.
A - Light colored honey, viscous body resists a train of carbonation. Light cap clings to the edges throughout the experience.
S - Sweet, sugars, light malts with an Abbey thread runs through.
T - Wonderful, base, strong esters, and a complex triple series, sweet malts, Belgian sugars and a touch of ops.
F - Surprisingly light in body, a medium mouth feel, and sweet finish that dries up quickly.
O - As billed, a wonderful Triple style, Abbey Golden with enough heft to lure you in to trying another at your own risk.

 579 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light gold to straw yellow and plenty hazy. There's a fingernail of eggshell white covering the vast majority of the top of the beer. Moderate lacing. I smell Belgian ale yeast with plenty of fruity esters and I also detect some light Belgian candy sugar. I taste plenty of lightly bready malt and sweet, light Belgian candy sugar. The mouth is fairly carbonated and crisp.

 378 characters

Photo of MHurley
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I love the over all look of this beer. With a corked top with the great Russian River twist cover. Thick neck and great art work. Pour a clear yellow with amazing head that give off a great aroma of peppery and fruit all in one. The taste though wasnt for me, kinda earthy but with some hop taste and booze. But a great beer to add to the collection! I love this bottle. Its like the ideal woman

 395 characters

Photo of AnalogErik
3.87/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Mouthfeel was flatter, smooth - the carb didn't get me, which is contrary to some reviews on here. The beer doesn't hide the booze too well, but the spices and malts come through well. Wasn't thrilled with this, but I can appreciate how well it represents the style.

 266 characters

Photo of tigerbeer90
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours golden with lots of tiny bubbles forming a large white head
S: Mild, some spices and slight fruit
T: Belgian Pale. some lighter fruits. Some banana and pear
M: very light and dry with a lot of effervescence
O: This is my first Russian River beer. It was an excellent representation of the style, but not what I would say was spectacular. Don't get me wrong, it is probably a top 5 BPA, just not sure if I would pay to have another. Looking forward to trying more of theirs!

 483 characters

Photo of Kinsman
3.94/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours as expected with a nice golden orange body and a big fluffy white head. Slightly fruity on the nose but not nearly as much of an esters note as some similar beers give off. Taste reveals a bit more of the peppery character of this yeast but it's well balanced overall. Not quite on the same level as Duvel or Delirium, but solid nonetheless.

 347 characters

Photo of fitzy84
3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had this on tap at Monks Cafe in Philly. The beer had a murky, pale yellow appearance with visible carbonation and a good sized head that dissipated. I smelled a combination of fruity flavors, but especially a fruit like a pear, mixed with cloves and yeast. The beer tasted slightly hoppy with earthy wheats and that advertised banana flavor. But, the aftertaste had a bitter citrus and grape flavor that was a bit strong for my tastes. The body of the drink was airy with a light carbonation. Overall, the aftertaste was a bit much for me, but I liked the combination of flavors and the body of the drink.

 606 characters

Photo of Johnct
3.32/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Eh... just a typical wheaty belgian ale. Don't shell out money for this. Probably the worst of the ---ation beers from RR. I'll have to try the higher-rated ones

 161 characters

Photo of WunderLlama
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yellow with stream of carbonation

White foam ring, foamy lacings

Peppery aroma

Peppery spice taste , wine like taste ,Belgian qualities

Good beer

 151 characters

Photo of KTCamm
3.91/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

7/26...on tap at Monks in Philly. Pale gold, heavy high white foam. Faint fruity nose. Gritty hop, and yeasty taste. Pears. Peppery. Simple blonde, yet hugely flavorful. Worthy of the setting.

 192 characters

Photo of ajm5108
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It smells like fresh baked banana bread with a little earthy hay as well. Good carbonation on the mouthfeel. Flavor is nothing spectacular but very good as well. Reminiscent of a lot of Belgian pales, with notes of grassy yeast, light citrus and honey with some rye grain floating in the background as well. Good beer but not a flagbearer for the style.

 356 characters

Photo of Chcshammonde
4.59/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really impressed with this. This Belgian ale is unlike any other offering in the style. Usually Belgian goldens are too sweet for me, with too much banana and clove going on. Not damnation. Hops on the tongue balanced out by sweet malt and a bit of funky character. I'll be getting this again!

 298 characters

Photo of bmeehan
4.36/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Damnation is a very good Belgian ale that leans a little on the stronger side. It's a beer that lends itself more to a slow sip than a big chug or gulp, but its still smooth enough to not bite back after swallowing.

 215 characters

Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours hazy straw to gold under a 1” clingy off white foam collar.
S: Ripe fruit, a hint of banana, fruit,
T: Bread, biscuit, fruit, citrus, pineapple, pear drops, some large pitted fruits lead to a mild bitter finish.
M: Very creamy, effervescent, above average carbonation and a medium to medium light body.
O: As good as any strong pale ale from Belgium.

 365 characters

Photo of bigsteve45
4.41/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Perfect one finger head. Golden but leans towards yellow
Aroma: Belgian Yeast.Sweet and Savory
Taste: Sweet Banana, Lemongrass, Cloves. Beautiful Belgian flavor
Mouthfeel: medium carbonation. Smooth beer all in all.
Overall: A great Russian River offering. Not their best, but in the belgian strong ale category it sure does shine. SomethingI always pick up if I come across it.

 392 characters

Photo of dpgoblejr
4.81/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Cloudy dark yellow color with fizzy and foamy off white head that reduces down to a ring around the edge. Smells of tropical fruits and clove spices. Tastes of bananas and spices with some breaded malts mixed in too. Well carbonated with some bite when finishing. Really enjoyed this RR take on a Belgian Strong Dark Ale!

 325 characters

Photo of KATCanada
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Apple juice color with beautiful white foam that subsides relatively fast. Some lacing. Carmel aroma at first. Very spicy taste, medium body with decent mouth feel. Cloves, banana. In my mind not up to par with other RR offerings but I would drink it for sure but unlikely to buy it.

 283 characters

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.55/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 112614 at 40 degrees into hand washed and dried goblet
Aroma weak, fruity, with some spice overtones but nothing distinct
Head none, aggressive pour. While some froth occurs while pouring, it instantly disappears leaving a thin 1 mm ring and a tiny island of tiny bubbles
Lacing none
Body light yellow, cloudy (chill haze and sediment - bottle conditioned and I inadvertently stirred up the yeast)
Flavor of spices; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl.
Palate light to medium, dry, lively carbonation

Appearance 3.5, Aroma 3.5, Flavor 3.5, Palate 4, Overall 3.5. Slightly above average but not much. Better Belgian ales exist with better price points.

 660 characters

Photo of DrChompy
4.68/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I picked this up at my local grocery store (~600 miles from the Brewery)! I couldn't believe they had it. I almost passed out. Grabbed a bottle, rushed home to taste it and it is amazing. Great Belgian strong!

 209 characters

Photo of RobinLee
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 04/01/14.

Color: Nice pale gold, think Duvel without the prodigious head.

Nose: Smells like the hop profile of a German pilsner. Floral, a bit soapy, tiny bit earthy, spicy (mostly clover) and banana.

Taste: Rather sweet initially. Light malt, floral hops again, similar to Duvel but not fermented to the same dryness. Cannot tell it's almost 8%, drinks more like 5-6%.

Finish: Grainy, bitter, floral. Nice carbonation.

Pretty much seems like Duvel mini- almost as good, but not quite. As much as I want to say Damnation is in the shadow, it is a good beer in its own right.

 592 characters

Photo of Dynobolt
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Really really enjoyed this beer.. Another great beer from Russian river, bought it at alpine liqour. Too bad I only bought one, will definitely get it again.

Retried this beer again: 8/15/15
Need to rescore it from my original 4.88
Taste similar to a duvel. Wasn't quite impressed like the first time I had but this time I bought two. Great beer to enjoy still but it was missing something.

 392 characters

Photo of MadCat
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Pours a hazy yellow with a fluffy white head

Smell: Straw, yeast, wheat, lemon peel

Taste: Cloves, lemon peel, bready grain, yeast, pepper

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, good Belgian style carbonation

Overall: A pretty good brew, I enjoyed thoroughly

 262 characters

Photo of breadwinner
4.39/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I understand this to be an ode to Duvel, but, honestly, I prefer this. I find it smoother, more fruit forward, better balanced than Duvel, the bottles of which I've had have generally been incredibly phenolic and aggressively carbonated. Damnation, meanwhile, pours like a dream, huge, pillowy head that never dissipates. Big banana/fruit/spice nose, even better on the palate where its soft body amplifies the rich fruitiness of the brew. Great stuff and sadly overlooked compared to RR's wild ales.

 500 characters

Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,124 ratings.